Let’s face it, we’ve all had to get creative over the last year and this includes, Steven Branco who decided to do so head on. Prior to the pandemic, a regular nice for Branco was definitely spending his night either event hoping, doing a restaurant view, checking out a store opening or just hanging out with friends. Fast forward what has nearly been a year and boy has things changed. Events and grand openings are a thing of a past and takeout, in all its glory, is likely the highlight of one’s week. This includes city socialite and VIBE expert, Steven Branco. From back-to-back nights out to being stuck at home like the rest of us. But all wasn’t over, instead he decided to look at ways to continue to share his expertise with his audiences by going either virtual with events or ordering in. No longer assessing vibes, but definitely putting his well-versed pallet to the test.
So considering Steven Branco’s vast experience with take-out lately, we sat down with him and he ‘dished’ his local Toronto favourites and what types of takeout food he turns to. When it comes to takeout or delivery, Branco says that he looks at this from a different perspective. “It’s not so much about the frills. When you’re dining out, you’re looking for a vibe…the atmosphere, people, music and food of course, but when it’s takeout it’s different. For takeout or delivery I usually want convenience, timely, fresh, HOT and more often than not…greasy and delicious comfort food. Not always, but I’d say 8 times out of 10. The best part of it all? Guilt-free. I just focus on the fact that I am supporting local. They need us,” and he’s right.
Sushi Takeout Hotspots in Toronto:
Miku Toronto’s/Aburi At-Home
105 – 10 Bay Street, 647-347-7347, mikutoronto.com/
“Sometimes I am feeling bougie, looking for quality over quanitity… something that I can eat with my eyes AND mouth. Miku always does it for me. They have interesting, elevated dishes that are not even comparable to others in Toronto in terms of quality unless you go super highend.”
Must-have: Literally any of their delicious Bento boxes.
Torch Pressed Sushi
507 Church St., 416-929-0678, torchpressedsushi.com
“Torch Pressed Sushi is my go-to sushi comfort food. I’ve been going there for years, especially after a long day on set when I want something delicious, and easy.“
Must-have: Their tasting box has everything you’d want from a heart sushi experience.
Best Fried Chicken Sandwich in Toronto:
Chen Chen’s Nashville Hot Chicken
390 Queens Quay W., 416-593-6560, chen-chens-nashville-hot-chicken.business.site/
“Chen Chen’s has the BEST Fried Chicken Sammies, my favourite in the city.”
Must-have: If you can take the heat, Schezuan x Nashville Hot Chicken.
Toronto’s Best Classic Brunch Delivery:
Shuter St. or College St.,, fransrestaurant.com
“If you know me, you know I LOVE brunch and my go-to classic brunch spot has to be Fran’s. They have multiple locations, Victoria St. is close to home, and never lets me down.”
Must-have: The Canadian Benedict meal, with the eggs poached soft.
Best Taco (although unconventional) available to-go in Toronto:
Bar Reyna or Reyna on King
158 Cumberland St., 647-748-4464, barreyna.com
“When my partner and I are having a date night, we always choose Bar Reyna.”
Must-have: The iconic Reyna Lebanese Tacos. Game changer!
Best Toronto Burgers for Delivery, Takeout or even dine-in:
The Burger Priest
Multiple Locations, theburgerspriest.com/
“In all it’s greasy and delicious glory, The Burger Priest is without a doubt my all time favourite burger in the city. It never disappoints!”
Must-have: Definitely their California Classic burger, or two.
Ultimate afternoon cheat meal snack available to order-in:
152 Spadina Ave., 416-866-2127, legourmand.com
“Le Gourmand hands down has the BEST cookies in the city (that’s bold). If I am needing to satisfy a sugar craving, this is my treat of choice!”
Must-have: Most definitely the walnut chocolate chip cookie, although this is one of the few places I always say there is literally nothing on the menu you can go wrong with.
All available on UberEats, but if you can…order takeout, ‘cuz they deserve to keep more of their profits.